Opening disclaimer: some of these suggestions have been made long before this post, and what’s contained in here is a mix of my understanding of these suggestions, along with my own personal tweaks on ideas. Will edit as ideas get debated and fleshed out.
TL;DR Add maximum level and boost caps to arena locations in the vein of raids, make trophy progression dynamic rather than static and linear, and increase/expand rewards to encourage competition. Discussion welcome, but please read the details below before posting.
Threads like these would not come up in their frequency if Arenas were fine as is, and something needs to change because things are not fine. From a player standpoint they need to change to be more fair to myself, my opponents, and all those that share their enjoyment of the game as broadly as possible. From a business standpoint the changes need to keep the current players happy, invite new players, add incentive to increase profit, and do as little work as possible to achieve all three. Fortunately, Ludia has already laid the proper foundation for the changes that need to be made so while the Arena changes proposed below would substantially alter our current experience, it would still be extremely recognizable to us at the same time.
The largest and most significant change would be a new maximum level and boost cap to arenas. Implemented precisely the same manner as raids, a creature with a level higher than the set maximum would have its stats reduced to the level set by the arena. If it has boosts, its boosted would also be proportionally reduced. None of these reductions are permanent, and only affect the current battle. Note that there is only a maximum cap; there is no minimum level for any arenas in this proposal. You are free to battle as underleveled as it suits you!
The second significant change would be the progression. Instead of awarding and subtracting a set number of trophies, the match would award a range of trophies between 1 and 30, with the closer battles awarding fewer and the more distinct victories awarding more, balanced against an average power level of the team that participated (note: not the average of the 8 total available dinosaurs). This would reward and advance players with more powerful teams overall to meet those that would be at their level faster, while teams not yet prepared for that level of opposition would have more time to battle against those closer to their expertise and ability. Each arena will have a trophy cap in addition to the level/boost cap mentioned above; much like right now, exceeding the trophy cap for an arena will unlock and progress the player to the next arena in line (more on that below). Each arena award an incubator value and coin reward per victory scaling upward as one progresses in the arena; the higher the arena, the greater the coin reward and the more expansive the DNA amount in the incubator.
The third, and most complicated but needed change, would be matchmaking. As each Arena would now have a maximum level and boost cap, matchmaking would take on a relatively simple position; anyone within an arena would have the potential to face anyone else in that arena, with the exception of the final arena. For example, all players using a team in Sorna Marshes will only face players using a team selected for Sorna Marshes, but any and all available Sorna Marshes players will be in the opponent selection pool regardless of trophy or power level. Seems rather simple, right?
Well, here’s where it gets more complicated. As a player progresses, they unlock arenas moving up. Just like in tournaments, the game will save the team a player used in the arena they are leaving and that team can be modified as the player sees fit from the Collection page with a new Arena tab. Each Arena, once unlocked, will have its own section a player can then create a team for*. The arena is changed by clicking on the current arena icon on the Battle page and scrolling up or down to change the “active” arena that the Battle button will automatically search for opponents in. Arenas will only award the prizes specific to that arena, and choosing to battle in a lower arena than the most advanced arena player is rated for will award and subtract no trophies. Only the most advanced arena a player has unlocked will award or subtract trophies from them. Just like now, losing enough trophies will drop the player to a previous arena, locking them out of the higher one(s) but saving their last played team in the Collections → Arena tab. This will eliminate the need for “droppers” as they only need to select the arena they would like to play in, edit their team which will already have a mandatory level and boost cap, and their progress would not compete with those making an honest push forward at higher arena ratings. It would also allow more advanced players to continue to access arena-specific DNA rewards.
*creatures whose creation levels are higher than the arena maximum will not be allowed on the team. I.e., a Legendary dinosaur will not be allowed in an arena with a maximum level of 15 or lower.
On the battle page, there will also be a toggle, name TBD; this toggle will allow a player to give consent to find any available player in any arena if they cannot find an opponent in their most-progressed arena within 30 seconds. When an opponent is found, the player will be given the team saved in Collections → Arena that corresponds to the opponent’s arena. The player WILL gain and lose trophies in this mode, even when using a lower arena team, and they will gain the awards of their most-progressed arena as compensation for the fact that the game did try to accommodate their desire to play in that arena. the opponent will gain and lose trophies and awards as if they were fighting a player of their arena’s rank and power, since that’s effectively what they will be facing. This allows players in higher brackets to continue progressing if they so choose, while not having to wait forever for a match, and eliminating the need for AI as much as possible.
If two players toggle the ability to be matched in any arena are pitted against each other, the game will choose the most advanced arena both have unlocked and select the premade teams both player and opponent have set up. Both will be eligible for the rewards of their most-progressed arena.
(Trust me, it’s a lot more complicated on paper than it would be to play)
Finally, at Nublar Shores, the matchmaker has a tweak back to what we should have: a requirement to search for an opponent with as close a trophy count to the player, expanding to larger and larger margins until an opponent is found. Notably, if the toggle to find any arena is selected, any trophy gains for Nublar Shores when not fighting in Nublar Shores, is cut to one-half (or maybe one-third, needs testing). This, plus the rewards to be found in Nublar Shores alone, should encourage Nublar Shores players to attempt to connect with other NS players and keep the toggle off, ensuring end-game players have an appropriate pool of players to face and collect full rewards.
Fallen Kingdom |60 Trophies to enter|
—Level cap 6, no boosts allowed, Common and Rare creatures
MT Sibo |500 Trophies to enter|
—Level cap 8, no boosts allowed, Common and Rare creatures
S.S. Arcadia |1000 Trophies to enter|
—Level cap 10, boosts restricted to participating dinosaur adjusted level, All Rarities available (with stats reduced to cap)
Nublar Jungle |1500 Trophies to enter|
—Level cap 12, boosts restricted to participating dinosaur adjusted level, All Rarities available (with stats reduced to cap)
Badlands |2000 Trophies to enter|
— Level cap 14, boosts restricted to participating dinosaur adjusted level, All Rarities available (with stats reduced to cap)
Lockdown |2500 Trophies to enter|
— Level cap 16, boosts restricted to participating dinosaur adjusted level, All Rarities available (with stats reduced to cap)
Sorna Marshes |3000 Trophies to enter|
— Level cap 18, boosts restricted to participating dinosaur adjusted level, All Rarities available (with stats reduced to cap)
Jurassic Ruins |3500 Trophies to enter|
— level cap 20, boosts restricted to participating dinosaur adjusted level, All Rarities available (with stats reduced to cap)
Lockwood Estate |4000 Trophies to enter|
— level cap 22, boosts restricted to participating dinosaur adjusted level, All Rarities available (with stats reduced to cap)
Aviary |4500 Trophies to enter|
— level cap 24, boosts restricted to participating dinosaur adjusted level, All Rarities available (with stats reduced to cap)
------ Minimal chance to earn emotes in incubators
Lockwood Library |5000 Trophies to enter|
— Level cap 26, boosts restricted to participating dinosaur adjusted level, All Rarities available
------ Low chance to earn emotes in incubators
Gyrosphere Depot |5500 Trophies to enter|
— Level cap 28, boosts restricted to participating dinosaur adjusted level, All Rarities available
------ Low chance to earn emotes in incubators, minimal chance to earn vanity skins for any of the creatures with hybrids being extremely rare*
Nublar Shores |6000 Trophies to enter|
— No level cap, no boost restriction, All Rarities available
------ Small chance to earn emotes in incubators, low chance to earn vanity skins for any of the creatures with hybrids being extremely rare*
*I imagine reskins and colour variants of dinosaurs will be both easier to implement as neat new toys than fully-fledged dinosaur rewards, while still being prestigious enough to be worth the trouble of climbing the ladder. Also, how cool would it be to take a jaunt back to previous arenas, fighting fairly BUT your T-Rex is now the colour of a macaw and has feathers? Or your Parasaurolophus has a swamp-camo scheme? Maybe enter the next tournament with wildly colourful versions of what your opponents have, or an all-black-stealth-looking team outfit? Anyway, something to flesh out in another thread.
Changes here would alleviate the following problems at least in some way voiced on the forums:
- Poor matchmaking
- Exploited arena mechanics via grossly mismatched team levels
- Lack of competition
- Lack of available opponents
- Lack of drive to improve
- Feeling of being “stuck” at a particular arena
- Allow an avenue to explore and experiment with other creatures that haven’t been as developed as main team members
- Enjoy PvP without the competitive edge from time to time
- Enjoy PvP competitively even when a lot of the players aren’t interested in joining you at your higher level
- Make wins and losses meaningful with varying trophies so strategy and tactics matter once again
Changes here would not have any effect on the following:
- Dinosaur mechanics (no nerfs mentioned in this thread, so please let’s keep it that way!)
- Boosts (the cap should be more than sufficient for the purposes of an arena mechanics rework to bother touching on it here; let’s discuss the finer points of boosts elsewhere, please!)
- Taking anything away from anyone, so that people that worked hard for their positions maintain their work (and, if you include the vanity skins idea, get an even bigger bonus than those that don’t put in the time/effort/money)
If someone has the numbers for coin rewards at each arena level, feel free to post and I can add it in.
If anyone requires clarification of an idea, please ask and I or one of the many others browsing this forum with similar ideas I’m sure would be happy to expand on it.
If I’ve made a gross miscalculation, also please post it - but explain it in detail so I understand why you think it won’t work.